Pohang (PCC Patrol Combat Corvette)
The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) recommended 10 June 2010 that at least 24 officers be disciplined for not ensuring the combat readiness of South Korean forces. The inspectors recommended 13 generals, 10 officers and two civilian ministry officials face punishment. On 13 June 2010 Gen. Lee Sang-eui, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted his resignation in the upheaval over the command structure's handling of the Cheonan attack. The audit board faulted the navy for deploying the corvette near the tense sea border even though it was vulnerable to a submarine attack. The audit discovered multiple problems in combat prevention and preparedness, crisis management and management of military secrets.
On May 20, 2010, South Korean officials issued a report blaming North Korea for the March 26, 2010 sinking of a South Korean Warship; with evidence recovered pointing at a torpedo having been fired from a North Korean submarine.
A spokesman for the DPRK National Defence Commission issued a statement repudiated the claim, stating that the South Korean "group of traitors had far-fetchedly tried to link the case with us without offering any material evidence. It finally announced the results of the joint investigation based on a sheer fabrication, which assert that the warship was sunken by our torpedo attack, in a bid to mislead the public opinion inside and outside Korea. (...) What is evident is that the sinking of warship 'Cheonan' can never be construed otherwise than a 'conspiratorial farce' and 'charade' orchestrated by the group of traitors in a deliberate and brigandish manner to achieve certain political and military aims because only 46 soldiers met miserable deaths while officers survived the case."
North Korea further warned that "It is our invariable iron will to react to "retaliation" with more powerful retaliation and to "punishment" with indiscriminate punishment of our style. Availing ourselves of this opportunity, we sternly warn the U.S. and Japanese authorities and riff-raffs, their poor lackeys, to act with discretion."
The Pohang-class corvette PCC-772 Chonan [aka Cheonanham] sank in the Yellow Sea late on Friday 26 March 2010, in a tense maritime area disputed by North Korea. The incident involving the vessel with a crew of 104 forced South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to convene two emergency security meetings. The president ordered a "quick and thorough" investigation into the incident. At least 46 South Korean military personnel were missing soon after one of the South's naval patrol vessels sank. Seoul was investigating what caused the incident, but held off on blaming the North. South Korean authorities said they are investigating "all possibilities" as to why the ship went down, including the scenario that the ship was attacked by North Korea. There was no sign that North Korea was involved. The Navy said it has been unable to establish the exact cause of the incident, but reports said an unidentified explosion could have made a hole in the ship's bottom. "An unidentified reason caused a hole in the ship, which led to its sinking. Rescue efforts are under way," the Defense Ministry said. "The ship fired a warning shot at an unidentified object, and the object was later suspected to have been a flock of birds. But we are checking," it said.
The Pohang class ships are classified as Patrol Combat Corvette (PCC). The external form is similar to that of the Tonghae class, but is update in several respects, with a full loaded displacement of 1,300 tons. The primary mission is coastal patrol, and the class consists of 24 ships deployed as the main force for coastal defense. These ships meet complicated missions of modern naval warfare, anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare with its compact design for cost effectiveness in operation as well as in acquisition.
These ship have a multi- role capability with all the weapons and sensors for attack, ASW and self defense mission. The Pohang class ships are divided between the ASUW type and ASW type, which aere distinguished according to guns, and ASW or SSM capability. The first four of the Po Hang class are fitted Exocet and the remainder have the improved Harpoon combat data system. The ASUW type consists of 4 ships (756-759), which have 2 Exocet SSM, 1 OTO Melara 76mm gun, 2 Emerson 30mm AA guns but no ASW capability including sonar and torpedo. The ASW type consist of 20 ships (761-785), which have 2 OTO Melara 76mm guns, 2 Breda 40mm guns, sonar(PHS-32), 6 torpedos, 12 depth charges but no SSM. The last 2 ships, ROKS Sinsung (PCC-783) and ROKS Kongju (PCC-785), have improved electronic equipments for reinforced AAW capability.
Machinery is controlled from the Ship Control Center. Main propulsion power is provided by 2 MTU diesel generators. The engines drive two shafts through the installed gearboxes.
This class of ships was built by four shipbuilders in South Korea. The ROKS Pohang (PCC-756), the first ship of this class, was launched in 1984 by Korea S.E.C. at Pusan South Korea, and commissioned on December 1984. The ROKS Kongju (PCC-785), the last ship, was launched on 1993 by Korea Tacoma Marine Industries Ltd., at Masan South Korea and commissioned on July 1993. After early confusion with names and pennant numbers, this program are terminated in 1993.
The Pohang class ships were named after cities in South Korea. Pohang is port city located in coastal of East Sea and famous for the large iron works called Pohang Ironworks.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|